Just as with fashion and other such trends, things that are popular come and go, as fickle as the wind. The same can be said of trends in website design. What is seemingly popular one day can soon be outdated the next. That being said, 2016 has seen quite a few trends popping up in regards to website design that are becoming rather popular – at least for now. So what sort of trends are there right now for web design that bear watching?
For one, there has been somewhat of a continuation of what was popular in 2015, including more video usage, vertical patterns, material design-inspired interfaces, and slide-style sites. But the growing trend seems to be focused on enhancing the user experience and creating content that is responsive, accessible, and easy to use in order to enhance user satisfaction. Popular trends seem to revolve around streamlining and perfecting the user experience on sites. Some of the popular web design trends to date include:
Most sites are favouring a responsive design, which means it automatically optimises itself to the user’s screen. These types of designs are favoured not only because they are cheaper to use and are more user-friendly but also because they are able to eliminate unnecessary redirections from the site’s main page and therefore reduce the page load time.
Modern web design is focused on keeping the user happily engaged and occupied on the site. This can be achieved by keeping the user constantly interacting with the site without them becoming irritated. Microinteractions, like Facebook’s new “reactions” choices beyond just “liking” a post, need to feel swift, easy, and human in order to keep the users from feeling forced.
3. Similar designs
A lot of websites have begun to look similar in some respects, with the repeated use of hero images, hamburger menus, flat designs, and other popular trends. This repetitive use can be seen across websites for a wide variety of industries. But this might not be a bad thing, however, since most people enjoy being able to work within a familiar interface.
4. Hero images
A striking image can easily capture a person’s attention, and an HD image that included a compelling call to action can greatly increase conversions. Advances in data compression and bandwidth in conjunction with hero images can also decrease load time.
5. Material design
This can greatly increase appearance from the typical flat design by giving it more depth with the use of light and shadows as well as incorporating grid-based layouts and responsive animation.
With the use of streamlined and minimal designs, typeface can appear more dramatic and therefore have a greater impact on the viewer. Artistic and calligraphic fonts can give a more personal feel and so are becoming more popular.
7. Background video/animation and hover animation
This can be tricky, as it can either give the site a more interesting feel, or it can distract the user. If done right, it can enhance the site’s content. The key lies in getting the frame rate right so the video and content can merge seamlessly. Hover animation is good for providing instant feedback when a user is confused about an element and its function.
8. Hamburger menu
This is a type of sidebar designed to hide menu navigation, especially in apps and on mobile devices. Its three horizontal bars look similar to a hamburger, hence its nickname as the “hamburger menu” or “hamburger button”. Some people seem to like it, and others don’t, but it is being used rather often, so there is some popularity to it.
9. Long scroll
Most people tend to think that they need to keep their most important elements “above the fold” when designing a page, but long scrolls are becoming more popular now that people are getting used to the idea from their mobile devices. Long scrolls allow for more of a storytelling approach to gain a user’s interest, and breaking a scroll into clear sections can mimic a multi-page site.
These are just some of the best web design trends of 2016. If you have any particular favourites, please put them in the comments box below!
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